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Local News

February 20, 2013

Board stays on path to Manor sale

(Continued)

Advocates for keeping the deficit-plagued Manor a public facility mounted a petition drive, with some 1,800 people indicating they oppose privatization. But there has been no scientific survey determining how widespread public support is for keeping the Manor in the county’s portfolio of assets.

To better explain the privatization plan to the public, the Manor Committee will hold a series of “informational meetings” across the county.

The first will be held March 16 in Worcester. That will be followed by meetings in Cooperstown on March 23 and in Oneonta on March 30. All of the 90-minute sessions will begin at 1:30 p.m. Exact locations for the forums have not been selected yet.

Additional meetings will be held in April, and the schedule for those will be announced once dates and locations are determined, Stuligross said.

While the meetings will not be conducted as public hearings, Kosmer said county representatives should expect to get an earful from people who want to share ideas for streamlining the Manor operations in ways that could make it affordable to keep.

Rep. Don Lindberg, R-Worcester, said he sees no viable alternative to privatization.

“The county is going to go broke if we keep it,” he said, predicting most citizens will support privatization once they see how the cost of managing the facility will continue to spiral higher.

Rep. Gary Koutnik, D-Oneonta, who is not a member of the Manor Committee but attended its meeting Tuesday, said he was disappointed the panel snuffed out Kosmer’s plan.

“It responds to people who have asked us over and over again to find alternatives to selling the Manor,” Koutnik said. “It’s a good faith response. Secondly, it will bring the realities to light, and it will be the realities making it clear to everybody that it can’t be done, if that’s the case, not us saying we don’t want to try it because it will probably fail. That’s not the way I like to operate.”

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